10 weeks, 5 days out and a LOT of fat to lose. About 18 lbs of it.  Twice as much as I’ve lost in the last 85 days and I only have 75 days to do it.  (I’m choosing to not think about sagging skin issues from fat loss.  Yup, I’m pulling a “Scarlet O’Hara” on that one because I can’t do much about it anyway. D says the spray tan will cover it.  That’s bullshit, but I can’t control it, so I’ll cross that bridge when it’s time.)

After thinking on it and sleeping on it for a couple of days, I have come up with a plan for how to proceed.  Just in case you missed the last blog, my challenge was to take the best stuff from my 3-day split routine, the Madcow routine, lose the worst stuff from those two routines, and come up with a new plan.  Woke up this morning with a new insight, too.  It was the cardio that chewed little bits off my legs.  Duh.  Didn’t I know that already?  Between both legs, I lost 0.5 pounds of muscle.  They were the only parts that shrank that I didn’t want to shrink.    So add to the wish list…”burn more calories with less cardio”.  Sounds like two-a-days are in order again, but when I did these last summer, I overtrained.  Need to be very careful with how I implement them now.  Need to be smart.  And I need to remember everything I’ve ever read and everything I’ve been told.

“Lift heavy right up to competition.”

~ Jana Mass, NPC Judge,former competitor,

mentor, super-generous person

The Workout

Here is what I’ve come up with – a modified Two-A-Day-5-Day-Split:

Day 1, morning: back, rear delts.  I will keep the madcow lifting schematic for deadlifts and barbell rows.  Add in supersets of pullups (or lat pulldowns), seated row, some kind of rear fly, and face pulls (I love face pulls). Two or three sets of this little stuff with 8-10 reps.

Day 1, afternoon: biceps/abs/HIIT cardio. A curl extravaganza, supersets, 21’s, etc.  I might be able to do this workout at home.  Need to gather up the miscellaneous lifting paraphernalia we have accumulated over the years. I might have a gym here at home.  Cardio could be hiking with Tippy in the desert.  If I go up a hill, that’s HIIT – sort of.  I tend to be a little cautious about lose rocks, so maybe not.

Day 2 morning: chest/triceps.  Madcow bench, DB incline presses and flyes, crushers, dips, pushdowns

Day 2 afternoon: delts/traps/HIIT cardio.  Madcow military press, the funky 3-grip variation DB lateral raises I love, upright rows, shrug something.

Day 3 morning: cardio/calves

Day 3 afternoon: cardio/abs

Day 4 morning: Legs.  Madcow squats, leg presses, leg extenstions, lunges, leg curls, glute ham raises.  (I love RDLs, but they tend to pull my back muscles.)   On a side note – Dan has offered to continue tutoring me on the perfect squat form.  I feel very fortunate to have this resource.  My three gym mentors, Lance, Rick, and Dan, have a combined total of almost a century of lifting experience.  Old school.  Love it.

Day 4 afternoon: rest.  Grow legs.

Day 5 morning: calves/abs

Day 5 afternoon: cardio



I added in a few grains last week to see how I felt.  I didn’t like it.  Ate some bread yesterday for my little “refeed” day to put back some glycogen.  I’m predictably all puffy this morning.  I’m a slow learner, but I get it.  Grains will be off the menu for me most of the time. I like my carbs low and grains are also causing indigestion.  So I’ll continue to cycle carbs, but the “high” day won’t be much higher than 100 grams.  I think I can get away with this with my physiology.  My body makes a nice amount of cholesterol all on it’s own and a low carb diet is recommended for that anyway, regardless of bodybuilding.  I’ll refeed with yams and fruit when it’s time to do that.  And that will be needed – the deficits need to be 1000 now.  I’ve been running around 500 and lost 9 lbs of fat and gained muscle.  My #1 priority right now has to be leaning out.  I am willing to get on stage if I’m smaller, but not if I’m not lean .  My new mantra…

“Small in the gym, but big on the stage.”

~ Zoa Linsey, IFBB Professional Bodybuilder

Posing Practice

I’ve been practicing my mandatory poses every day, but not intensely.  That changes.  Every evening I will do them and focus on holding those poses for a set period of time.  Probably need to set my interval timer for it.  I also had an idea last night for how to build my routine.  I’m going to create an homage to my inspirations – bodybuilders from the 80’s. Pull out elements from their routines that I love and put them all together somehow.  I have a teacher friend who coaches the dance team at school and she said she’d help me.  I have another idea about how to get practice posing on stage…but I haven’t talked to anyone yet about that, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to line that up.

Still need to order another posing suit.  I have fabric swatches.  Not sure which way to go with this.  Maybe I’ll make a blog post with the swatches and let you guys vote.

So let’s see how all of this goes.  I’m very, very encouraged that I have got the cortisol under control.  If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have lost fat from my waist and gained muscle almost everywhere besides the legs.  Losing leg mass from doing cardio twice a day is a very predictable result.  The one thing I’m not supposed to do (“Don’t f*** with the Madcow”), is exactly what I’m doing.  As I imagine the Captain on the Titanic said at some point, “Full speed ahead!”  But there is a lot of “non-lifting” time built into this routine, my supplements seem to be on point, and if I’m doing HIIT cardio for most cardio, it should be OK for the legs.  I’m not teaching again for another month, so I can get more sleep when I need it.  Already planning to get another DXA scan in a few weeks to assess progress and to check on legs.

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